Published at Sunday, 22 September 2019. Backyard. By Hélène Piedalue.
Create the Tropical Landscape Effect, Now that you have a foundation, or backdrop, it is time to add the tropical effect plants to turn that normal backyard or swimming pool landscape into your own tropical paradise. Here, you’ll use true tropical plants that have to be treated as annuals in your area, unless you are willing to go to great lengths to protect them from winter chill. There are many plants that are tropical or sub-tropical that, with a little protection, will come back from roots each spring (i.e. bananas, elephant ears). Then, there are the interesting, tropical looking plants that may have no problems at all with winter weather.
In amongst our flowering shrubs in our front yard, we have planted blueberry bushes. They are as pretty as the flowering shrubs and give us the added benefit of mouthwatering blueberry snacks. As they grow they will provide additional quantities to freeze and preserve. Plant at least three different varieties for cross pollination. Strawberries are wonderful ground cover, keeping your weeds to a minimum and delighting your pallet. If you wish to have a spectacular focus pyramidal tree of 15-30 foot in your backyard landscaping plans, plant a hardy paw paw tree. You will have gorgeous waxy green leaves from spring to frost and eat delicious fruit with a custard banana flavor.
For the tropical effect, you should have at least one palm tree. It’s hard to imagine a tropical landscape without the presence of palms. Why palm trees aren’t used more in southern landscapes can only be attributed to lack of information. Plant one and you can be sure you’ll hear more than one ”You can’t grow that here!”. There a number of palms that can handle very low temps with little or no damage. Windmill, Sabal, and needle palms come to mind. Palms create the tropical foundation, now you need to enhance the tropical effect. Let’s throw in some bananas, cannas, and elephant ears with their huge leaves for a start. All are very easy to grow and, with a little work, can be protected so that they come back year over year. Yucca and big ornamental grasses add great tropical effect too. Add some real color sizzle with tropical hibiscus, coleus, and Mandevilla and you’re going to start humming Jimmy Buffett and reggae tunes for sure.
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